I’m so sorry you guys! I know there are a bunch of people waiting on me to email them back! Everything’s been happening this week, but I fully intend to catch up this weekend! Thank you all for your patience! ❤
Are you all as much a fan of St. Rita as I am? Like St. Jude, she’s a patroness of desperate and impossible causes (among other things), and I’ve seen her intercession bring about some pretty amazing, nearly miraculous things, both for myself and for others.
In this consultation from July, the mama said she had a special devotion to St. Rita, to whom she attributed the conception of the baby the consultation was for. If the baby had been a girl, she intended to give her the middle name Pearl, as a nod to St. Rita, whose given name was actually Margherita — the Italian form of Margaret, which means “pearl.” I had another conversation more recently over email with a reader who was looking for ways to honor St. Rita for both girls and boys. So I thought doing a post with some ideas of how to do so would be fun! This is what I came up with for girls
Rita would be the most obvious way of honoring St. Rita — if you gave your daughter the name Rita for either a first or a middle, people who know about saints would think, “She must be named for St. Rita!”
Since St. Rita’s given name was Margherita, and Rita a nickname for it, then any of the Margaret names can honor her. And after her husband and sons died, St. Rita joined the Augustinian nuns of St. Mary Magdalene Monastery, so Magdalene could work too.
Like the mama in the July consultation I mentioned above, you could certainly use the name Pearl, since that’s what Margherita means.
In addition to meaning “pearl,” the Italian Margaret variant Margherita is the name for the daisy flower in Italian, and the French Margaret variant Marguerite is the name for the daisy flower in Italian.
St. Rita’s known as St. Rita of Cascia, and I think Cascia would be a pretty cool way to name a little girl after her. I say it KA-shuh, which is similar to established first names Kasia and Cassia.
St. Rita’s full given name was Margherita Lotti, so Lotti could make a cute nod to her, especially since Lottie is a traditional nickname for Charlotte …
… which makes me think that even Charlotte itself could be an unexpected honor name for St. Rita.
For boys, I had a few ideas that I thought could work:
I have loved and shared many times the story julianamama told of the family she knew who named their son Garrett after St. Margaret, and that would work for St. Rita as well.
John, James, Jacob
One of St. Rita’s sons was named Giangiacomo, which is a combination of two names—Gian (a short form of Giovanni=John) and Giacomo (James, Jacob). St. John the Baptist was one of her three patron saints, and when her cause for canonization was being pursued, her story was compiled by an Augustinian priest named Fr. Jacob Carelicci.
Her other son was Paolo, which makes Paul a good option.
When I’m looking to honor a woman in a boy’s name, I often look to her dad’s name for inspiration. St. Rita’s dad was Antonio, so Anthony and its variants could work.
For those looking for something unusual, Pope Urban VIII beatified Rita — one of our regular readers has an Urban!
Pope Leo XIII canonized St. Rita, so a great idea there as well!
Not only did St. Rita join the Augustinian nuns, but St. Augustine was one of her three patron saints, so Augustine would be a great possibility. St. Nicholas of Tolentino joined St. John the Baptist and St. Augustine as her third patron saint, so Nicholas works as well.
And those are my ideas! What about all of you? Can you think of any other names that could honor St. Rita?
One of you wonderful readers sent me the story of the birth of UK Parliament Member Jacob Rees-Mogg’s sixth baby, and then I saw it all over my FB feed! Everyone’s going gaga over this little guy! And for sure it’s because of his amazing name: Sixtus Dominic Boniface Christopher!
Indeed, Rees-Mogg is Catholic, as his baby’s name proclaims! (Also, as his sister’s name proclaims — Annunziata!) Little Sixtus is also the sixth baby! According to British Baby Names, he joins siblings:
Peter Theodore Alphege
Mary Anne Charlotte Emma
Thomas Wentworth Somerset Dunstan
Anselm Charles Fitzwilliam
Alfred Wulfric Leyson Pius
In Rees-Mogg’s announcement on IG he referred to the big sibs as Peter, Mary, Thomas, Anselm, and Alfred, so no double names or interesting nicknames as far as I know. I love seeing Anselm in the first name spot! Congratulations to the whole family!
This all brings me to what I intended to post today — Cat said in a comment a couple of weeks ago:
“I’d love to see a post and comments on the most unique or out-there Catholicky Catholic name people have ever used or known a person with that name.”
I would love to know that too! I’m on my way out the door and can’t martial my thoughts to share my own, but I can’t wait to read yours!
It’s been a busy week y’all! I’ve gotten a couple posts brewing — hopefully I’ll be able to get one up by the end of the day!
Thank you to all of you who left comments/ideas/suggestions for Grace on yesterday’s post!! I’ve been trying to just keep up with approving comments from new readers, and haven’t yet had a chance to go through all the comments, but I’m excited to do so — I learn so much from you all!! ❤ ❤ ❤
I was just reading through some old posts and came upon this one from two years ago — I thought you all might be interested in seeing it again, I love learning things like this! ☘
I watched this video the other day and just died: Americans Try to Pronounce Traditional Irish Names. So true, so funny.
And I meant to post this on St. Paddy’s Day and forgot: Selected entries from “Some Common Words Derived From Christian Names” (in Withycombe):
Biddy: nickname for an Irish-woman, from the prevalence of the name Brigid in Ireland; hence old biddy, an old woman. Also used for calling chickens.
mick(e)y: temper, possibly, like Paddy, from the supposed short temper of the Irish, with whom this is a common name.
Paddy: nickname for Irishman (cf. Biddy).
paddy(whack): a rage, fit of temper. (From the supposed irascibility of the Irish.)
A mama I did a private consultation for has let me know her twin girls have arrived! They have been given the gorgeous, meaningful names … Lilianna Mary Grace and Lucia Virginia Rose!
The mama writes,
“I just wanted to let you know that our baby girls were born Monday 9/5/16 via emergency csection. They are 30 weekers so they are still in the NICU, please keep both girls in your prayers.We chose the namesLilianna Mary Grace and we call her LilyandLucia Virginia Rose and we call her LucyLily was 3lb2oz and Lucy was 3lb10oz. If you remember they are our rainbow babies, and I began the pregnancy at the Shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe, everyday, praying a Novena for her intercession. After that each of my doctors appointments ended up on a Marian feast day, which I did not do intentionally. I decided very early that we would give the girls Marian names. During our consultation we discussed that Lucia wasn’t completely Marian but related to Mary. I have since found out that there is an Our Lady of Light and Lucia means light, so it is more Marian than we thought.The most amazing sign from Our Lady though happened 3 days after they were born when our priest came to give me the anointing of the sick after my csection, he also offered to baptize our girls! On The Feast of the Nativity of Mary our girls were welcomed into the church. It was beautiful.”
Can you believe all the Marian connections!! These girls were covered by her mantle the whole pregnancy, and their amazing names reflect that so beautifully!
After the initial email, I received another update on how they’re doing:
“Right now we are just working on getting Lily off oxygen and possibly off her IV tomorrow if she does well. Lucy is still adjusting to eating so we are hoping she starts tolerating her milk soon.”
Please keep these beautiful babies and their family in your prayers!
Congratulations to Mom and Dad and the girls’ handsomely named big brother Erick Bruce III, and happy birthday Lily and Lucy!!
Lilianna Mary Grace in purple hat, Lucia Virginia Rose in gray hat
Lucy is smiling, Lily is cuddling ❤